Parents' Guide to

The Men Who Sold the World Cup

By Alistair Lawrence, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Soccer documentary reveals the sport's greed and corruption.

The Men Who Stole the World Cup tv series poster

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This is a fascinating deep dive into the allegations of bribery and corruption that, for years, have swirled around world soccer organization FIFA. The Men Who Sold the World Cup is a thorough examination of the wider scandal exposed by two recent, successful bids by Russia and Qatar to host FIFA's iconic World Cup competition in 2018 and 2022, respectively. A range of experts, from British investigative journalists to various FBI agents and IRS employees, provide both the backdrop and the insights into the FIFA and government officials accused of wrongdoing.

Controversial former FIFA president Sepp Blatter also participates, again denying his involvement in a slew of criminal activity. This leads to some repetitive back and forth between Blatter and those who accuse him of overseeing a corrupt system and embedding himself as one of the most powerful figures in the world's most popular sport. The end result is what anyone who has followed this story in the news over the past few years will already know: it remains incredibly difficult to hold rich, powerful individuals to account, especially when their influence spreads throughout governments around the world. Still, told over two, 55-minute episodes, this documentary is engaging fare, and doesn't shy away from what many have noted is the ugly side of "the beautiful game."

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